Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update guide


galaxy_s4_android_lollipop_update_guideSamsung started to roll out Android Lollipop (Android 5.0) update on Galaxy S4 at the end of January.  Slowly, the Android Lollipop updated was coming to more and more Galaxy S4 devices.

This guide will try to answer some of your questions on Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update.

Update: Samsung Galaxy S4 Lollipop User Manual (PDF) is available. You can download or read the updated user guide in your own languages.

When will I get Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update?

Because Android Lollipop update is a major firmware update, not an urgent security update, carrier’s testing and approval (this can be a bureaucratic process for some carriers)  are required in most regions.

So, the availability of the update will be highly dependent on the carrier.  Even in the same country, Galaxy S4 owners under certain carriers may get the update earlier than the others.

As a Galaxy S4 owner, we have to wait. The process is not fully controlled by Samsung.

As a general guideline, most carriers should finish such test in 2-6 months. So, hopefully, majority of the Galaxy S4 owners will get the Android Lollipop update in Q1 and Q2 of 2015.

Top 4 new features in Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update

Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update will bring you a totally new Android. This is also probably the last major update for Galaxy S4.

There are so many sweeter features in Android Lollipop. Here are some top 4 new features you will enjoy in the Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update.

1. Better UI, improved performance

When you look at your Galaxy S4 after the Lollipop update, you may see no differences.

But if you start to use it, you may notice some drastic change. For example, if you navigate to the phone settings, you will find the revamped UI.  The round icons in white background looks so beautiful (maybe not good for battery for AMOLED screen). You can also swipe among tabs after getting the Android Lollipop update.

Although Samsung hasn’t fully embrace material design in this Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update,  you should find the new UI is more beautiful.

You may also feel your Galaxy S4 a bit faster.  Galaxy S4 is often cited as a bad example of bloatware. Apparently, Samsung slightly trimmed down the TouchWiz. But you should not expect dramatic improvements in performance.

2. New notification and interruption

New notification and interruption is one of the top selling points of Android Lollipop.

Although Samsung slightly spoiled the elegance of the new notification and interruption in favor of their own way of handling notification and interruption, Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update still brought more than 90% of the new Lollipop notification features compared to the stock Android (e.g., that  in Nexus 6).

You need fine tune the new notification and interruption to get exactly what you want. For some impatient Galaxy S4 owners, they may feel frustrated at the beginning.

If you have any question on using Android Lollipop new notification and interruption (e.g., how to set up priority mode, how to silence Galaxy S4), please check this guide.

3. Smart lock

Smart lock is another extremely useful feature in this Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update.

Your phone can be unlocked automatically when you are in certain location, or your Galaxy S4 is connected to certain Bluetooth devices.

Unfortunately, a lot of Galaxy S4 owners failed to find the smart lock option after the Android Lollipop update.

You need enabled trusted devices first. Then the smart lock will be shown in your settings. Please check this guide on how to enabled and use smart lock in Galaxy S4 after Lollipop update.

4. Updated Samsung apps

With the Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update, Samsung also updated their own apps. Most of the apps are updated with partial material design with an action button. Of course, they look far better.

For example, the green phone app looks really appealing (arguable).  The navigation through tabs using gesture (swipe) is also supported in most apps and settings.

What should I do before getting Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update?

If you haven’t got the Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update, it can reach your S4 at any time.

But it is not necessary to check the update every a few hours. You just turn on Auto-update in SettingsAbout deviceSoftware update. You should get an notification once the update is available for your Galaxy S4. Please also enable WiFi only unless you have unlimited mobile data plan. The download size is about 1GB.

You need keep 1.5-2Gb free space for the update. So, backup your files and settings to the PC with Kies, and clean the phone to free some internal storage.

Actually, you should do this even if you are not interested in Android Lollipop.

What should I do after getting Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update?

Some Galaxy S4 owners feel the phone behaves weirdly, or feel the phone is slower and less responsive. Sometimes, the system apps (e.g., messages app) crash frequently.

If this happens to you after the Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update, you can try to clear the cache partition. This can solve most of such problems without losing any of your settings or files. Please follow this guide on how to reboot Galaxy S4 into recovery mode and clear cache partition.

Of course, if wiping cache partition does not solve the problem, you should backup the phone and do a factory reset.

Do you have any questions on Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update?

Please let us know in the comment box below if you need help on Galaxy S4 Android Lollipop update.


  1. Howard Weeks says:

    I have a locked ATT Galaxy S4, with me in Afghanistan but not in use. When do you think ATT will be offering the Lollipop update ?? How can I get it here ? Thanks

    Howard Weeks

    • Lollipop update for AT&T Galaxy S4 (SGH-I337) has been available for some quite long time already.

      You can check it through OTA (settings–About device — software update) from your phone.

  2. Sprint S4 SPH-L720 Lollipop 5.01
    Only the phone dialer shortcut now appears on the lock screen. How do I add other widgets?

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